Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Dendreon's Provenge: Making The Right Kind of News?

Below the fold on today's front page of the "The Washington Post" is an article headlined, "FDA Delay in Cancer Therapy is Attacked".It begins with an anecdote that I had reported a month ago during our live coverage from ASCO--that the outspoken critics of Dendreon's Provenge had hired private security to protect them during the cancer conference because they'd allegedly received threats from Provenge proponents.

Most of the article covers familiar ground--the Provenge backstory, the recent vitriolic intensity of message-board postings, blogs and the ongoing debate over the fate of the drug.

There's a rumor floating around in my inbox and on some of the message boards that a group of Provenge proponents has recently raised money to buy full-page ads in the "Washington Post" and possibly another major paper when Congress comes back from recess.

Today's high-profile coverage by the "Washington Post" will no doubt fuel even more debate over whether the heat's being turned up on the FDA to reverse its decision. Again, for the record, Dendreon says the FDA has told the company it will possibly accept positive, interim test results showing a survival benefit. Those data are expected the middle or second half of next year. Or the agency could wait for final results which aren't expected for another two to three years.

Shares of DNDN are taking a tiny breather this morning following a run up on heavy volume during this holiday-interrupted week.

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